Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams declared himself mayor today at a private political event as outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio awkwardly stood behind him.
“Listen, I am the mayor,” Adams said, opening his speech at the Brooklyn Democratic Party’s annual dinner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, while de Blasio looked on with an uncomfortable smile on his face, reported the New York Post.
Video of the event reportedly shows De Blasio, who is 6-foot-5, standing awkwardly behind Adams as he continues his speech for the next several minutes.
During his address Adams never mentioned or looked at de Blasio, who reached over the likely new mayor to take the microphone when Adams finished and walked off the stage, a source told the Post.
“Bill de Blasio tried to hijack it as a moment to share the stage with Adams. It was awkward,” the source said.
The event was attended by a who’s who of the state Democratic Party, including New York Attorney General Letitia James, House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY).
The source described de Blasio as having to “finagle his way onto the stage… It was a little weird.”
Adams was introduced by Brooklyn Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn who started off a crowd chant of “The champ is here!” as Adams looked on and made a thumbs up gesture.
On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called Adams “the next mayor of New York” during a joint news conference in Brooklyn, saying he was “very, very excited” to work with Adams with whom he had “developed a true mutual respect and friendship” when Adams served in the state Senate.
Cuomo’s collegial endorsement was in stark contrast to his bitter feud with de Blasio, who he accused of being a weak leader and incompetent city manager last month.